Barbados Kensington Oval Nominated For Structural Steel Engineering Award… But Can We Eat It?

Yes folks, the news is in…

Our “like new used only once” Kensington Oval has been nominated for the 2008 Structural Steel Design Awards by Corus (Europe’s second largest steel producer) and the British Constructional Steel Association.

Does that make me proud?

Frankly, the oval was fine as it was. Really. We would have been much farther ahead to have put that hundred million dollars or whatever the real price was into a hospital or water infrastructure.

But what do I know? I’m just an ordinary person who gets up every day and goes to work.

So off I go!

Further Reading

Shortlist Announced for 2008 Structural Steel Design Awards

BFP: Toilets At Kensington Oval To Be Flushed Weekly – Because They Are Never Used

BFP: Kensington Oval vs. Queen Elizabeth Hospital

64 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Cricket, Health

64 responses to “Barbados Kensington Oval Nominated For Structural Steel Engineering Award… But Can We Eat It?

  1. Jerome Hinds

    BFP,

    Read the link below for another result of the DLP 100 day……..SUCCESS !

    Cheers to the brilliance of the Hon. David Thompson & Senator Darcy Boyce !

    http://www.nationnews.com/story/327947697399300.php

  2. John

    Jerome

    I saw it too and could only crack up laughing.

    I reached the conclusion that contrary to conventional wisdom promulgated in the BLP era, here was proof positive that an economy will only perform when an economist isn’t running it!!

    I don’t remember David promising anything about this but we’ll take it.

    Do you think he actually knew it would happen in advance?

  3. John

    Regarding Kensington, I could only shake my head in disbelief that we have several hundred millions of dollars tied up in this and the ABC widening just when the price of oil is set to explode.

    I use tied up as opposed to invested because the future seems to indicate the decision to apply these funds in these two ventures seem to be among the most unimaginably unintelligent decisions ever made in Barbados.

    Maybe I am just a doubting Thomas and I am only imagining things and it will work out.

    Certainly these two decisions tie in well the observation that it makes no sense having an Economist running an economy.

  4. John

    Regarding the nomination of the 3Ws Pavilion for an award all I can say is that I am 100% certain that it will get it.

    Liz had to be nominated for an environmental award too.

    The world is now firmly embarked into an age of lunacy.

  5. John

    Zeta

    … language, language ….

    *************

    BFP says,

    Hi John

    “zeta” was our normal friends from the BLP, BFPE etc. Gone now.

  6. Rene

    2nd that John… Zeta i’m sure you could find other words to express your feelings about these people without having to cuss.

  7. Donald Duck, Esq

    Jerome

    Owen Arthur is making strokes even when he is not at the wicket. What a performance!!!! A sound economy, growth of 4% lowest, unemployment. Cheers David. You owe owen!!!

  8. Donald Duck, Esq

    Jerome

    How could you ever attribute the recent good performance of the economy as reported by the Governor of the Central Bank yesterday to the brilliance of messrs Boyce and Thompson. Remember the Governor reported on the first three months of the year.

    I know you are a committed DEM but less be real, tell us what messrs thompson and boyce did in 2.5 months to achieve the results the governor reported on

    Thanks

  9. Rene

    Having work at Kensington during Cricket World Cup I do feel proud to see this landmark being nominated for an award on the world stage and can’t wait to see the completed project. I would be ecstatic if it won. To bad they didn’t have the lights in during the games….

    With regards to the quarterly report by Ms Williams we all know this is reflection of polices and management of the past administration. The present administration hasn’t been in power long enough to effectively impact economical change at this level. What worries me most about these reports is the false hope of a sound economy with regards to our international foreign reserves, has anyone stop to think of the true value of these reserves on the world market. The bigger question should be the amount loans and at what interest rates we are servicing these loans at.

  10. Jerome Hinds

    Donald Duck, Esq
    May 1, 2008 at 2:37 pm
    Jerome

    How could you ever attribute the recent good performance of the economy as reported by the Governor of the Central Bank yesterday to the brilliance of messrs Boyce and Thompson. Remember the Governor reported on the first three months of the year.

    I know you are a committed DEM but less be real, tell us what messrs thompson and boyce did in 2.5 months to achieve the results the governor reported on

    Thanks
    ************************************
    Donald Duck…….there you go QUACKING again !

    By your own argument……if the economy over the last 3 months in 2008 had shown NEGATIVE growth……no doubt a DUCK like you would have blamed David Thompson !

    Therefore, now that the economy has grown by 4% ( rather than 2.7 % for the same period in 2007 )….then all credit to the financial PRUDENCE of David Thompson & Darcy Boyce !

    * Removal of gas subsidies !

    * Keeping flour & feed pricesstable up to 31 March, 2008 !

    Thank goodness that the ECONOMIC jackasses like you & Owen ARTHUR are now being prepared for the dump at GREENLAND……the very same one wunnah waste millions on.

  11. John

    Jerome

    I second dat logic!! It is sound sound.

    Did Owen ever get up by 4%?

    Truth be told both were or are passengers and what happens happens inspite of and not because of them!!

  12. John

    … and that’s why it doesn’t matter if an economist runs the economy …. or not.

  13. Bovrill

    Not so fast!!

    Jerome and DD Esq,

    All I am concern with is that Dr. M. Williams (Governor of CB) gave an unvarnished assessment of the Economy, remember the pharse ” Irrational Exuberance”

    Now, Sir Leroy Trotman,

    Remember these words “Robust Rebound”
    these words were used to described the Tourism activity for the first quarter of 2008
    notwithstanding the rise in oil prices from 2001.

    I know that you (Sir Roy) has launched a pre-emptive strike (not labour) about a month ago in the Nation news about wages.

    “Bring out the pit bulls”

  14. Donald Duck, Esq

    Jerome

    The gas subsidies came off in april. Remember we are no longer in election season.

  15. 106

    Why can’t this “white elephant” be used as a training center for Bajan althletes or, for that matter, be used for world althletic events such as Triathalons, etc.?
    Not only would the venue be used but it would also benefit tourism.

  16. nonsense

    Jerome, I like the way David Thompson has been handling things but you’d have to be utterly deluded to attribute short term economic success to the new government so fast.

  17. Jerome Hinds

    nonsense
    May 2, 2008 at 2:06 am
    Jerome, I like the way David Thompson has been handling things but you’d have to be utterly deluded to attribute short term economic success to the new government so fast.
    ***************************************

    And if it was negative growth you would have blamed the present administration !

    You cannot have it both ways !

    That would indeed be……NONSENSE!

  18. John

    Jerome

    Man the logic is so simple!!!

    It worked before Jan 15 2008, so it got to work now after the date!!

    I support you 100%.

    We don’t need an economist to run the economy, in fact I don’t think we even need a PM to run it either, but that is beside the point!!

    The point is that your logic is valid and fits with all the logic advanced to date!

  19. politically incorrect

    Rene:

    That’s a hollow pride.

    What does that award mean when the price of oil and jet travel and food and clothing and everything under the sun has gone out of orbit and Culpepper will see more tourists than Barbados — (it’s closer to get there i.e. takes less jet fuel).

    Why you all think Thompy flying up and down the world …………… going to beg!

    Barbados is broke and the BLP have left it so for the second time in twenty years.

    But many are still “glowing” in the “promises” that have not yet been fulfilled. How many hotel rooms are empty now, today? How many tour buses are parked up? Diesel too expensive but the Japanese have been paid for their buses and the banks are collecting their monthly fees and even the BNB belongs to Trinidad. How many house mortgages are going to be lapsed? What use is the four percent then if it ain’t cash in your hands, who cares.

  20. Trained economist

    I was particularly interested in the figures on net capital flows into Barbados.

    In my humble opinion, the owen arthur model was to pursue expansionary fiscal policy and generate growth and employment. Much of this growth over the last 14 years has come from the non-traded sector (non-foreign exchange earning).

    This strategy led to consistent growth and low unemployment on the positive side.

    On the other side, this strategy has led to a steady net outflow of foreign exchange on the current account. In other words, chronic current account deficits have been a consistent feature of the Owen Arthur years.

    From a current account surplus in 1993 and 1994, we have run a current account deficit every year since about 1998.

    The current account deficits have been financed by strong net capital inflows. These flows have mainly been inflows of borrowed money as well as private flows investing in say west coast type construction projects.

    As such, the level of reserves (which in my view is a critical variable) is extremely dependent on net capital inflows. That makes us very vulnerable to international investment sentiment, which in my view has been the main soft spot in the owen model. Thankfully, capital flows have been strong, but I have always worried that the owen years, by and large coincided with a favourable international investment climate.

    I hope the slowdown in net capital flows this quarter is just a correction from unusually net inflows related to the cricket world cup last year, and not due to a change in international investor sentiment as a result of the economic slowdown around the world (as many analysts have been whispering).

    If there is a prolonged slowdown in capital flows due to a prolonged international slowdown, the challenge will be how to promote growth without endangering reserves.

    Interesting call for the new government.

  21. Bimbro

    Frankly, the oval was fine as it was. Really. We would have been much farther ahead to have put that hundred million dollars or whatever the real price was into a hospital or water infrastructure.

    ******************************

    I sympathise with your above remark, BFP, but, if Thompson can afford such largess as to give away govt. owned houses to long-term tenants then I’m certain we can afford a few million dollars to build a futile, cricket stadium. Barbados is a rich place. Simply don’t tell the poor!

    *******************

    BFP says,

    Hi Bimbro,

    Yes, Kensington needed work, but it wasn’t “a few million” dollars. It was almost two hundred million dollars and we still don’t know who owns it!

  22. Bimbro

    However, to be serious, I guess that all countries could do with an icon or two in celebration of their national success, especially one which is award-winning, so the new stadium is probably, as good, as any. Probably, just as well, that it can’t be eaten! May be a lot of poor and hungry Barbadians available, in the not too, distant future!

  23. Trained economist

    I find it very interesting that the discussion has focused so much on the growth and other numbers. In many ways the biggest news must have been the surge in the fiscal deficit.

    According to the report, the fiscal deficit surged by the largest amount in the last decade, nearly quadruple the deficit of last year, despite a surge in government revenues.

    Government spending is reported to have grown by over 20% compared to the previous year. Yet this seems to have generated very little comment.

    Donald duck is a very astute and informed commentator, but not a peep out of him or her. maybe because he attributed the good figures from q1 to the blp.

    Jerome has not said a word either. maybe because he attributes the good in q1 to the dlp.

    from where I sit if you are prepared to tax, borrow and spend as owen did, its not too difficult to grow an economy and have low unemployment.

    But people seem concerned about party loyalty than the mountain of debt we are leaving for future generations.

  24. Bimbro

    BFP says,

    Hi Bimbro,

    Yes, Kensington needed work, but it wasn’t “a few million” dollars. It was almost two hundred million dollars and we still don’t know who owns it!

    *************************************

    BPF, please doan mek me laugh!!!! I jes come back from holidee n it’s time for me to start being serious, agin!!!!

    Laaaaaaaaadddddddddddddddddddddd!!!! 🙂

    ******************

    BFP says

    It is funny, isn’t it, Bimbro? Our government invested over a hundred million dollars – maybe even closer to two hundred million in and around Kensington Oval and there is still a dispute as to who owns the Oval!

    Outrageous, but that is what happens when monkeys play with shotguns.

  25. Trained economist

    let is look at kensington for example. Kensington has been used for a funeral, a football game and will be used for some crop over events.

    My training tells me that we spent extra money to build the new kensington. For the investment to payoff we need to generate extra revenues. revenues we would not have gotten if we had not made the extra investment.

    Donald duck and crew please explain to me the extra revenues generated by the oval in the last year to cover the financing costs of the oval. Did the football game generate more revenues than if it was held at another venue? If so was this revenue enough to cover the financing costs? How was the lost revenue from the other government owned entity that did not host the game?

    Will the revenues from the crop over events be larger because they are held at kensington? If so will this revenue be enough to cover financing costs? How about the costs to the government owned entity that will not host the events?

    Owen and crew have justified the borrowing as capacity building? What happens when the so called investments do not pay off?

  26. Bimbro

    BFP says

    It is funny, isn’t it, Bimbro? Our government invested over a hundred million dollars – maybe even closer to two hundred million in and around Kensington Oval and there is still a dispute as to who owns the Oval!

    Outrageous, but that is what happens when monkeys play with shotguns.

    *********************************

    Interesting comment, BFP. I guess our boys are still learning ‘the art of government’! Mind, it’s an expensive way to learn!

    Hopefully, Thompson’s somewhat more knowledgable, although giving away good, municipal housing seems to me a folly! How are new young mothers and families, of which I believe there’s no shortage in Bim, to find homes to live? Plus, is the hope of home-ownership not meant as a spur to greater industy, ambition and achievement? I’m not convinced that ‘handing it to a person on a plate’, is necessarily, the wisest policy! Thompy may live to rue the day he decided on that policy. I know that our Maggie showed him the way by selling cheaply, our municipal housing to their tenants but the current Labour government has discouraged that to an extent by reducing the available discounts and, as you know, it’s virtually, impossible to get a mortgage here, these days!

    Anyhow, if and when, with your assistance, I become PM of Bim (please don’t laugh!) I’ll reverse that policy!

    Arthur seems to have overlooked some cardinal element when arranging the contract for the stadium, which surprises me. I’d received the impression he was a wiser, manager than that. I guess, even he was capable of an error, as we all here know, only too, well!

    **************

    BFP says,

    Bimbro… who said Arthur made an “error”? Who says that some folks didn’t or won’t profit from the confusion?

    Never EVER assume that the dispute over the ownership was not a deliberate design!

  27. Bimbro

    My second policy will be to provide full employment for the people of Bim, or at least as full as I can reasonably, manage. Will you all, please, vote for me!

    We’ll govern together, BFP! Openness and accountability legislation in the first 100 days! No problem at all!

    How has Thompy been doing? Will need to scroll these pages to catch-up!

  28. Pingback: Global Voices Online » Barbados: Edible Oval?

  29. Bovrill

    Trained Economist,

    I have read your submissions and it would be very interesting to have a discourse with you.

    First, may I suggest to you (Not presumptuously) read a report by Tuuli Mccully , “Cricket and Economics”.

  30. Jerome Hinds

    BFP,

    These Chocolate chips that Ikael Tafari at the top of this page requesting……..is this the GHANIAN term for……MARIJUANA ?

  31. 110

    BFP says “Who says that some folks didn’t or won’t profit from the confusion?”

    Lawyers and accounting firms are going to make huge fees out of the confusion.

  32. Hants

    Me above. sorry BFP

  33. Munchies

    Jerome, an old joke is that when someone smokes marijuana they get the munchies. Jerome has not indulged. 🙂

  34. Trained economist

    where can i get the cricket and economics book?

  35. John

    Trained Economist

    Owen and crew have justified the borrowing as capacity building? What happens when the so called investments do not pay off?

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    The crowning glory of the folly that followed Westmoreland to my mind is Apes Hill and the passing of the PDP with no opposition present in parliament to force debate. Interestingly this DLP government plans to sign into law the passed plan which it said nothing about in opposition.

    Westmoreland started the slide. Both parties are answerable.

    I read Westmoreland as an attempt by the DEMs (read DLP) of the day to get some foreign investment.

    Concessions were given and all of a sudden Barbados went Golf crazy. No attempt was made to rationalise the sudden decisions for change of use of land with what existed in the PDP of 1991.

    The Water Resources Study of 1978 was ignored.

    The easily available water resources were fully committed by 1996, predicted in the 1978 Water Resources Study and still the lunacy that was the policy of the day continued.

    Look at the amount of water delivered by BWA in the Economic and Social Report and you will see it plateau in 1996. (Appendix 28 of the 2005 Report I believe).

    The BLP continued the policy of attracting foreign investment in exchange for assets.

    Bennets, Sandy Lane, Lancaster Apes Hill etc were added to the land estranged from agriculture and the already maxed out Trent’s water catchment was compromised by allowing the removal of water from the most productive part for Apes Hill.

    Luckily this removal can be physically stopped in case of dire emergency.

    Not only has the policy resulted in debt that will last us for generations, the very life support systems of the island have been compromised.

    Even Belle water quality is compromised by the heavy development at Warrens

    Westmoreland exposes the folly of the policies of both Governments.

    Where are the Rooney’s?

    They have made their killing and moved on!!

    We dummies are left holding the can.

  36. Johnnie Too Bad

    Trained Economist, you sound very much like an old classmate of mine. ‘remember, how come yuh so stupid? You are behaving like if trained and learned economists in the league of Owen and Clydie ever do anything straightforward yet. First they build the project and then look for means to justify the expenditure.
    Then our trained and learned journalists simply use the press release of some brainless flunkey to fill the column centimetres or airwaves and we the masses run with it as gospel.
    Even on a 50 year depreciation scale and a modest rate of return on the money spent and generous spin offs the white elephant will not pay for itself.
    It is not up to me to make the argument for these so called economists, but there is the view that while individuals may not attempt such projects, governments will for national satisfaction, pride and image building where the payback is in national pride. But hey these guys keep spinning what great economists they are.
    The truth is that if the Oval was undertaken as a private sector project, it could not realise any kind of satisfactory return for its investors over the medium or long term.
    Johnnietoobad.

  37. Johnnie Too Bad

    On the point of national debt I would agree with you Trained Economist, it has been my contention that the figures are so huge that the average Bajan does not appear to take them seriously.
    Given the immediate financial crisis in the global village today, it cannot be long before we start defaulting on our obligations and then what?
    We will hear that the nearly 30,000 public servants we have must be reduced by 10,000.
    We will hear of the increases taxes and the need to place in the private sector most government services and the need for the dreaded word devaluation. With the high cost of living, my new government will have no real room for making any significant intervention, then what?
    The UN expect some 37 countries or more to have social disruptions/riots in the next twelve months. The IMF predicts some 33 countries will face that fate. The Caribbean is by no means immuned from such problems. The next 15 to 18 months will be the making or breaking of David Thompson and the government. Lesson No. 1 always make sure the people have food to eat. I rest my case about this mountain of national debt we face.
    Johnnietoobad.

  38. Hants

    Governments of Canada and Ontario built the Toronto Skydome in 1990 for $600 million.

    They sold it to Rogers Communications for $25 million because it was losing money.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rogers_Centre

    Kensington Oval is a similar legal money laundering exercise.

    **********

    bfp say

    Exactly! There are sophisticated strategies in play here, but when in doubt… FOLLOW THE MONEY!

    But unfortunately, there will never be a public

  39. Rumplestilskin

    John ”Not only has the policy resulted in debt that will last us for generations, the very life support systems of the island have been compromised”,

    Agreed. So who profited? Just the Rooneys?

    Then it went onto Kensington and then the flyovers.

    Borrow, borrow, borrow.

    Who profited?

    Do we really think that forensic audits with PUBLISHED RESULTS will be forthcoming?

    Where is the CWC report that the late Stephen Alleyne prepared (and it has been claimed, with apparent substance, that he did prepare this and with his reputation, he would have been diligent (too much so) and prepared it, he was very reliable and committed).

    So, where is it?

    Where are GEMS financials from inception, audited?

    Where is the current accounting for the highway expansion?

    There remains an URGENT need for a revamp, as requested on this site much time ago, for a change in how public expenditures are presented and published, for all to see.

    Not just, ‘trust us with the money’. Joke!

    All public expenditures for major projects MUST be available at GIS for all and sundry to examine in detail.

    Contractors (including substantial ownership of such), payments etc.

    That is the ONLY way that we shall have accountability in public projects.

    By the way, who owns the condos at the Dover Convention Centre?

    Has this changed hands from Government and if so, who now owns it.

    When did the transfer take place?

    If it is a joint venture, where can we , the public, see copies of the legal documents and terms of the joint venture?

    Peace.

  40. Rumplestilskin

    I support the new Government in this early stage of their term, in the hope that their promised approaches will both stem the tide of mismanagement and also bring a new approach to such expenditures.

    However, I will also state that the ‘people in Parliament’ including the Government members and the Opposition, have got to realise that their credibility is now on the line, whereever the blame for this may lie, call it accumulated angst.

    A change in approach is needed and needed now.

    Take heed on this.

  41. Bovrill

    Sorry!! Trained economist,

    You can get a reading from this website: http://www.scotiacapital.com then look for link: Scotia Economics, in the search box: put in “Cricket and Economics” which would lead to another box: Scotiabank – special reports, you will find it there.

    Good luck!!

  42. Bimbro

    BFP says,

    Bimbro… who said Arthur made an “error”? Who says that some folks didn’t or won’t profit from the confusion?

    Never EVER assume that the dispute over the ownership was not a deliberate design!

    ********************************

    OMG, BFP!!!! You’ve got me there, my friends!! The possibility did n’t even occur to me!!!!

    Do u think Arthur and his friends could have been so duplicitous?!!!! OMG!!!! Time for accounting, Arthur!!!

    I don’t know what Thompson’s waiting for!!!!

  43. Yatinkiteasy

    I think it looks like a large vaccum cleaner! Perhaps it is, when you think of the money it sucked in.
    Why dont we use it for large music shows and festivals..OH, I forgot…the hallowed pitch!

  44. Hants

    Yatinkiteasy says

    “Why dont we use it for large music shows and festivals..OH, I forgot…the hallowed pitch!”

    They have no choice because the cost of an empty unused structure is still very high to maintain it.

    Security Lighting at night,Security Guards, periodical routine maintenance including flushing and cleaning toilets etc.

    They need to treat it like North American multi purpose stadiums and use it for many different types of events.

  45. Tell me Why

    How long can government continue to tax, borrow and spend and claim credit for consistent growth, low unemployment and low fuel prices?
    ……………………………………………………………………..
    Your sign-in name states that you are a trained economist. Do tell me if the 4% growth for this quarter will continue in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th quarter? In the meantime I will state that this 4% growth is just a temporary occurrence based on the removal of the oil subsidy and the suspension of capital projects. But while the government is holding back expenses, stagnation in the economy will occur which will have a dynamo effect with a reduction in spending along with the laying off of workers. Remember, too much concentration on social services with a sudden reduction in capital expenditure will create a contraction in the economy. I am stating that this 4% can not hold.

    This is the layman term of ‘current account surplus. Think about a property owner enjoy collecting monthly rental without any spending. Definitely, his bank account will look healthy, since he refuse to carry out any maintenance on a timely basis on the building. But how long will it last since the value of the building will decrease, tenants will move out and he will find his rent income dwindling because of the deterioration of the building. Sooner or later, he will eventually have to face a massive maintenance bill which will surely erode his profitability.

  46. Rumplestilskin

    The thing is that capital projects, unless they are with productive sector focus are in themselves only ‘temporary’ even if they give a boost to the economy during their construction.

    While one may claim that a three year capital project, in of itelf not related to productive capacity, provides input over a time to the economy and the multiplier effect boosts the economy even a while after that, nevertheless the effect will wear out in the short/medium term and the long term debt for the project remains.

    With a capital project related to productive capacity for example, a fishing terminal or an industrial facility, the returns to the economy will be for a much longer period, both into the government for the (albeit low) rents from businesses or usage fees for a terminal, and for the return to business and the economy over many years, even possibly and hopefully in foreign exchange from exports.

    Which is why it is unfortunate that much of the recent capital projects in the last five years were of the ‘non-productive’ sector i.e. highway/ flyover project, Kensington.

    While the highway expansion may have been the ‘ideal’ it is and was not a necessity at the time or this time, particularly with a potential world recession on the way at the time.

    Even if one could not have foreseen the recession, then it could be argued that our productive sectors had been neglected for years and any significant input should first have been into these, before significant expenditures on roads.

    The productive sectors are the foundations for any economy, without these an economy will ultimately and inevitably fail.

    Compound that with an expanding debt burden resulting from non-productive sector projects and calamity will ultimately result.

    Thus, a constricting of capital projects and reassessment of priorities is necessary at this time.

    Personally I am much less worried about that than the impact of the price of diesel on inputs for production and agriculture, not to mention distribution and retail, which will whave a serious impact on price inflation, at a time of a naturally depressed economy, due to world events.

    The secret of using capital projects to the advantage of a country, is to implement these projects just before or in the midst of a recession, thus reducing the impact of a recession on the economy, will hopefully will last until the world recession eases.

    Unfortunately, with our significant debt increase over the last three years, we have played our aces before their time, which was one of my concerns all along.

    Ah well, que sera, sera.

  47. John

    Rumplestilskin

    It is that simple, the short term vs the long term.

  48. Bimbro

    Bimbro
    May 2, 2008 at 6:07 pm
    My second policy will be to provide full employment for the people of Bim, or at least as full as I can reasonably, manage. Will you all, please, vote for me!

    *******************************

    Ok, somebody ask what my THIRD policy will be!

  49. Trained Economist

    I am in agreement with rumpeltinskin on terms of fiscal flexibility.

    The government spent its way out of the post 911 recession. That recession was short and mild, but we policy makers do not have crystal balls.

    After the short recession government the deficit did not really come down.

    This means we have less scope to spend ourselves out of this one.

    Again lets hope its a shot global slowdown, but the signs are not good.

    I would really like to hear what was owen’s endgame strategy for bodies like the water authority. I mean fixed rates of revenue, high accounts receivables and rising costs. I am clearly missing something.

  50. Trained Economist

    No I do not believe we will get 4% next quarter. I expect a slowdown.

    The historical evidence is that we tend to lag the US.

    What folks need to keep in mind is that unlike the US govt trying to spend your way out of a recession in BIM has neagtive consequences in term of foreign exchange. The high government spending and growth led by the non-traded sectors almost certainly worsens the current account deficit. If there is any slowdown in capital flows then reserves fall.

    This is a dangerous balancing act. Given the current global environment we might not be able to attract the level of capital flows we did over the last decade. The government has to play this carefully.

  51. John

    Trained Economist
    May 5, 2008 at 11:54 pm

    I would really like to hear what was owen’s endgame strategy for bodies like the water authority. I mean fixed rates of revenue, high accounts receivables and rising costs. I am clearly missing something.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    … fixed quantity of water available committed since 1996.

    In a real world, demand for a product of which the supply is fixed and which supply is fully committed would have sent the price into orbit.

    Don’t worry, you are not the only one missing something here.

    The simple explanation is that Owen really did not have a clue what he was doing and to try to logically analyse the various decisions he made is a waste of time.

    An economist simply cannot run an economy.

    We are left to pick up the pieces as best we can.

  52. Hants

    An economist should be able to run an economy.

    An economist who becomes a “long term” politician may be the problem.

    Political expediency trumps Economic theory especially close to Elections.

  53. Tell me Why

    The simple explanation is that Owen really did not have a clue what he was doing and to try to logically analyse the various decisions he made is a waste of time.
    ………………………………………………………………………………….
    When you can make that above statement, I should have realise that your next statement of an economist cannot run a country will put your lack of economic reasoning in perspective. First, let me state that an economist analyse and introduce measures whilst an accountant is a glorified auditor who simply deals with figures before him/her.

    Even if the present PM is not an economist, or Minister of State, the Honourable Darcy Boyce is not an economist; financial and economic goals will still be produced by the various economists in the Ministry of Finance. So don’t be fooled that economists are obsolete. It is the ministers who speak on behalf of the economic gurus in the finance ministry. Hon Arthur or Hon. Thompson are just the repeaters for these technocrats.

    Also, let it be known that when you see Ministers addressing issues, the script is produced by the PS in the various ministries.

  54. Bimbro

    Hants
    May 6, 2008 at 2:19 am
    An economist should be able to run an economy.

    An economist who becomes a “long term” politician may be the problem.

    Political expediency trumps Economic theory especially close to Elections.

    ***********************************

    You bin studying our Gordon Brown?!!!!

    However, you’re so right! Success at one does n’t guarantee success at the other!

  55. Bimbro

    However, some would say that Arthur managed it – I think!

  56. Trained economist

    Gordon Brown is not an economist, he is a historian I think.

    I think the myth of the economist prime minister was quite overplayed by the last administration.

    An economy is an incredibly complex system and the ability of someone who has a degree or degrees in economics to control and manipulate this system is grossly overplayed.

  57. Rumplestilskin

    And then we also have the ‘private interest groups’ who also play a major part in ‘lobbying’ the Gov’t.

    What was it that Sen Eastmond was chatting on before they claimed it was his diabetes?

    Diabolical forces affecting Cabinet?

    Sure, diabetes is serious, but was there maybe a hint of the truth there?

    After all, Arthur must have known that spending was runaway, so why persist?

    ‘Lobbying or diabolical forces’?

  58. Bimbro

    Could n’t agree with u more, TE, however, don’t think Brown would appreciate your describing him as not being an economist!

    However, r we agreed there’s no better system than ours, i.e. western style democracy and free enterprise!

  59. Tell me Why

    Gordon Brown is not an economist; he is a historian I think.

    I think the myth of the economist prime minister was quite overplayed by the last administration.
    …………………………………………………………………………………
    You are making the same statement that is within my article. “It is the ministers who speak on behalf of the economic gurus in the finance ministry. Hon Arthur or Hon. Thompson is just the repeaters for these technocrats.”

    Even if Gordon Browne is/isn’t an economist, he will still be advised by the economists in his government. As a matter of fact, your statement manifests your doubts of you being a ‘trained economist’.

    So whatever way you look at it, economists play a significant part in any government, regardless if it is coming from the mouth of a Prime Minister or on behalf of the scripts penned by the hidden economist.

  60. John

    Tell me Why
    May 6, 2008 at 2:26 am

    When you can make that above statement, I should have realise that your next statement of an economist cannot run a country will put your lack of economic reasoning in perspective. First, let me state that an economist analyse and introduce measures whilst an accountant is a glorified auditor who simply deals with figures before him/her.
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Check Prof Suzuki’s comments about an economist running an economy after the 2004 Central Bank Lecture.

    The gist of what I am saying is that an economist is going to analyse some, not all of the costs and some, not all of the benefits without understanding many of the processes which give rise to these costs or benefits.

    I am not trying to compare an economist with an accountant or auditor. One of those bean counters would have been a total disaster.

    If you put a problem to an economist to decide, or for that matter any person who does not have a grasp of how physical processes work, there is a 50/50 chance of the wrong decision being made.

    If the legalising of gambling was one such issue to be decided, there would be in depth studies made by professionals dispassionately put forward and they would be weighed in the cost benefit thinking of the economist and hey presto, a solution.

    Suppose instead of an economist we had a housewife making the decision.

    Before any dispassionate cost benefit analysis thinking entered her head she would ask herself what she would want for her children.

    I suggest that no money would get spent on experts preparing reports and instead those resources would be directed at “real” problems.

    One only has to examine the issue of water to realise the disaster that has befallen Barbados over the past 20 years.

    Perhaps my generalisation to economists is flawed, but there is an element of passion in that generalisation.

    It is not made dispassionately.

    I am being a bit of a housewife!!

  61. John

    I am not saying that economists do not play a significant part in any government, just that one cannot run an economy.

  62. John

    Think Greenland!!

  63. John

    Think GEMS!!!

  64. John

    Think Dodds!!